By Daniel Chigundu
ZIMBABWE Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Dr Karikoga Kaseke has said the 2018 edition of the prestigious Harare International Carnival will focus on celebrating the new dispensation.
The new dispensation led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa came on 24 November last year following Operation Restore Legacy which ousted the Robert Mugabe led regime.
Since President Mnangagwa came into power, the country has recorded commendable progress in terms of business owing to his mantra “Zimbabwe is open for business” which has caught the attention of the international investors.
Tourism has already started benefitting from the new dispensation as potential investors have been coming to survey potential investment sites chiefly in Victoria Falls.
In an interview, Dr Kaseke said while the theme might not explicitly talk about the new dispensation, but will definitely be around the issue.
“The major focus for carnival this year is the new dispensation, we want to celebrate our new dispensation and if that is not going to be the theme then the theme should be around there.
“Carnival is expected to start around the 17th of July up to the 21st of July so what I am saying is that the focus is celebrating our new dispensation,” he said.
Carnival is a celebration of diversity and brings together people and artists from different backgrounds to showcase their acts and cultures through a procession dubbed “street parade”.
Christ Embassy Zimbabwe Zonal Pastor Dr Ruth Musarurwa on Sunday informed her congregates that her church will be taking part in the carnival in a big way.
Last year Christ Embassy stole the carnival limelight with its well-choreographed acts and carnival costumes.
Meanwhile, when asked about whether controversial but much-loved Zodwa WaBantu will this time come to the carnival, Dr Kaseke said the raunchy dancer has always been welcome but with a few conditions which she agreed to.
“Zodwa, look we from a tourism point of view we believe that anyone who wants to visit our country should be allowed, there is no reason why Zodwa should not be allowed to come to Zimbabwe if she wants to come to Zimbabwe.
“If we don’t want certain things or certain ways of her dressing in public we tell her, like I said last year we gave her conditions she agreed to the conditions but I don’t know why it was made a big issue, the whole cabinet sitting about Zodwa I don’t know maybe they had their own reasons to sit and talk about Zodwa.
“But with Zodwa we had given her conditions and she had agreed, that she must put on a full dress when she is in the streets and she had agreed to that, so this year I don’t know because last year we did not invite Zodwa remember she was funded by the Private Lounge and then they came to us and said Zodwa is coming can she join the street parade,” he said.
The ZTA boss added that they have no problem with Zodwa as long as she is putting up a full address without showing people that she is not putting on underwear.
“I don’t have a problem but if she then puts a dress which leaves all things open then we have a problem with it. Zimbabwe has its own ethics, culture and we can’t allow that people walk in the public when they are not putting on underwear and being seen by the public that one is not allowed,” Dr Kaseke said.
Zodwa made headlines last year in Zimbabwe to the extent that the whole Cabinet had to meet and discuss her coming to the country.
The issue also saw failed actress Anne Nhira writing a letter to the then Acting Minister of Tourism Patrick Zhuwao calling for the banning of Zodwa from coming to the country.